Pastors Share Post-Election Sermon Plans
How will pastors respond to the re-election of President Barack Obama this Sunday?

Even as President Barack Obama celebrates being re-elected, it's clear he faces the monumental task of leading a deeply divided nation. Though the president won a decisive number of the electoral votes, the popular vote told a different story. Voters split their ballots nearly evenly between the candidates: 50 percent for Obama, 48 percent for Mitt Romney.

As pastors sit down to write their Sunday sermons, many will be mulling the stark division in our nation. They will encounter feelings of relief and anxiety, hope and despair, apathy and anger—sometimes in the same congregation. We asked several pastors to share the gist of the message they will be preaching in light of the election results. We hope their insights will help you as you prepare for Sunday.

John Ortberg, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church: This Sunday I will give a call of prayer for our country and its leadership, and a call for civility in political conversations. Romney supporters: don't despair. Obama supporters: don't gloat. Remember, the office that matters most has already been permanently filled with a God of eternal omni-competence.

Andy Stanley, North Point Community Church: I decided to address the election in a podcast rather than a sermon. As we make personal and political decisions, we should never attempt to legislate the behavior of people who don't share our worldview. Criticizing others over their beliefs pushes them away. It's more important to make a difference than a point, and we've all seen people with opposing beliefs come together to make a difference. We must be willing to risk our credibility for the sake of influencing others. Don't take a stand on every hot-button issue. Jesus refused to answer questions that would damage his influence among the people.

Joel Hunter, Northland, A Church Distributed: My post-election (pun for those of us reformed in theology) sermon will center on Isaiah 2:3–5, beating swords into plowshares and ceasing preparation for war. These themes have national and personal implications for reconciliation. We must decide to forgive, cooperate, and build a better future for those we love. The power to do so comes not merely from a moral decision but from the in-breaking of the Eschaton.

Harry Reeder, Briarwood Presbyterian Church: Instead of addressing the election in a sermon, I will be conducting a post-election forum. I do not believe Christians should universally vote Republican or Democrat. But you saw two distinct worldviews in this election. One holds that small government should uphold justice and set people free to pursue their inalienable rights. The other view says that we should trust the government to do for us the things that God should do. They replace, "In God we trust," with, "In the State we trust." This election gave us a snapshot into the distribution of these conflicting worldviews. Therefore it provided insight into where we must strategically plant vibrant, evangelical churches: in major cities and among various minority communities. This election sharpens our focus on areas for which we need to pray and with which we need to engage as Christian citizens. We should go where people need to hear the gospel, not for the sake of Americanism—although I believe our republic was framed by the beliefs of the Reformation—but for the sake of the kingdom.

November 08, 2012

Displaying 1–10 of 16 comments

Bill Kuntz

November 19, 2012  12:54am

I agree with most of what these pastors said, but as some have commented already - all Evangelicals did not vote for Romney. It is important to allow all Americans the right to vote according to their conscience without implying that it is unChristian to vote for any candidate. The issues are complex and opinions can be strong. Let's not judge a brother or sister in Christ just because we disagree on what is best for our country or who God wants in office. I am grateful that the kings (and presidents) of the earth are still pawns in the hands of God.

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Jon Trott

November 16, 2012  8:43pm

Somehow, after reading all of the comments and finding all but one or two to have completely missed the point, I am less optimistic than ever about white Evangelicalism. This isn't about the President; it is about us. We are well over 100 years behind. As W. E. B. Dubois pointed out in the very early 1900s, the issue of race was (and is?) not "a black problem" but "a WHITE problem." We – white Evangelicals and other conservative white Christians – are the problem! If I were a pastor I'd be talking about the need to shut down the culture war, the language of the culture war, and find another way. This isn't ultimately about politics, it is about the survival of "Evangelicalism" (whatever that word means, the good of it has been all but lost).

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November 16, 2012  10:13am

"So according to Reeder, minorities just don't get it, so they need to be like "us" since our anglocentric evangelicism is closer to the heart of God. I guess churches serving those communities are rendered inept." I just reread Reeder's statement, and I don't see where you got that idea from.

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Stephen wong

November 16, 2012  5:39am

I believe that God was sovereign over the recent Elections. Now that the Elections are over, the time has come for the church to reach out actively to the unchurched and to strengthen the churched christian families. I am sure many of us would agree that we do not need the Ten Commandments on display in public places as a defining point of our faith. Rather our kids should keep the Ten Commandments in their hearts and living the pattern of life that their parents have shown them. That would be of great value to our great God when christians live out their faith in the world. As it is, christian parents have not taken their christian faith seriously nor spent the time to teach and mentor their kids as disciples. What impact would the Ten Commandments on public monuments have on American lives if that is all to it for our faith.Let us be doers of the faith and cut off the spite ful spin that flooded our minds during the last elections.

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November 15, 2012  8:08pm

So according to Reeder, minorities just don't get it, so they need to be like "us" since our anglocentric evangelicism is closer to the heart of God. I guess churches serving those communities are rendered inept.

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November 15, 2012  3:15pm

Good Post but the comment from The Believer is spot on and almost too much so. It seems very sincere and I hope accurate. I praise God for what has happened in the Philippines, and look to them as an example of what God can and will do for a country where His family unite in prayer and hope!

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Mark V

November 14, 2012  1:25pm

I am pastor of a small church, where everyone I have talked with is disappointed in the election. We are in Washington state, where gay marriage and recreational marijuana use were approved via referendum. Since our denomination has official positions on both topics, I spoke strongly about the reaction we are permitted to have in Scripture. We can (and should?) lament, which is an emotional reaction that keeps in mind that the Lord is sovereign but also that the world is broken. To simply state the former point is squelching people's desire to cry out to God, which I believe could be righteous.

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November 13, 2012  2:29pm

Robert Jeffress, First Baptist Dallas: I'm not surprised at all by the results of the election. Evangelicals who did vote, voted for Romney, What a sweeping generalization! Like Alex Gee, I pastor a diverse church, and we did not all vote Romney. I enjoyed the pre-election comments from Howard Snyder, I think an evangelical in anyone's book, cautioning us not to be one issue voters. He felt the environment is more affected by the president's decisions than abortion is, which did not lead to a vote for Romney. I'm glad that pastors mostly see that the world will not end, Jesus is in control, but not everybody was on the Romney bandwagon.

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Don Watson

November 10, 2012  6:29am

The past few days I've retreated into Revelations 2 & 3 because it reveals so significantly how much Jesus knows exactly what we're going through and that He wants us to remain steadfast in our mission. I feel that the church should view the election as an opportunity to reach the unchurched even more by resolving to pray more, love more, share more and live more for Jesus.

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Michael Snow

November 09, 2012  10:08pm

All the election talk takes precedence over the key problem of our country: savorless salt. We wonder why so much of our culture is bankrupt? Our kids don't even know the Ten Commandments. Christians need to get serious about discipleship and being the light of the world.

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